Zappin The BUG

Bug Header image


This production of BUG was submitted to us by Matt Sweeten at Northwest Missouri State University.

This story is primarily set in a seedy motel room where lonely cocktail waitress, Agnes, is living in hiding from ex-con, Jerry Goss, who just happens to be her ex-husband.  One night, Agnes is introduced to Peter, a likely AWOL Gulf War veteran. As the two begin to get more involved, Agnes is drawn into Peter’s increasing paranoia over the war in Iraq, UFOs, the Oklahoma City bombing, cult suicides, and secret government experiments on soldiers. The audience witnesses Agnes’ slow descent into insanity as it tackles love, paranoia, and conspiracy theories.


Produced as part of their Second Stage Productions on November 30th & December 1st, this show was presented in a proscenium house that seated 150 people nightly. A fun and unique aspect of this production is the fact that it was entirely acted, directed, designed and produced by students! This rewarding, collaborative process provided “real world” theatre responsibilities that truly challenged the students and gave them an opportunity to grow as artists.

While the actors worked through handling the serious subject matter of BUG, the designers also had their share of challenges. Faced with a budget of $500 (not including scripts & royalties), the production teams were forced to be extremely resourceful and creative.  The lighting designer used practical lighting and even bug zappers in the final moment for lighting. Distressed walls, rough furniture and carpet were all incorporated into the scenic design to pull off the seedy look of the motel. One great trick they discovered and used was incorporating tin foil in place of mylar to help pull off that final “crazy” moment! The tin foil provided a cheaper but highly effective alternative!


DIRECTOR: Lindsay Roes Masin
STAGE MANAGER: Bethanie Hope Swiney
COSTUME DESIGN: Helen Strotman
LIGHTING DESIGN: Katie Knoodles Knudson
SCENIC DESIGN: Ronald Hunter Stephenson
SOUND DESIGN: Victoria Campbell

In the end, this production was a great learning process and overall success! The participants definitely grew from their involvement in Northwest Missouri State Universities student production of BUG.

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Production photos

Photo of 3 characters in the motel room from the production Bug,

Wide phot of the motel room from the production Bug


Agnes and Jerry in their "Crazy" moment at the end of the play Bug

Bug motel set in mylar/tin foil

Bug Production Poster

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